The first topic for Quiet Conversation is Gas-powered Leaf Blowers (GLBs) and other Small Off-Road Engines (SOREs). This topic will be thoroughly explored from 2020-2021 or longer as needed and will produce “lessons learned” for other topics in the future. A series of Zoom meetings was initiated in April, 2020 for our Community Action Network [to sign up, see below], associated with QCI’s Quiet Outdoors program.

GLBs are a considerable source of distress and concern to citizens around the country and globally, and a growing source of concern for scientific and health care agencies, including the US Centers for Disease Control. More than 200 communities in the US regulate their use and many more have tried. Much of the attention is focused on their deafening noise and impacts on the health of workers and the public. Other concerns exist around their toxic emissions, ground-sourced particulates, and toxic waste and spillage.

Some of the aspects to be addressed will include:

  • Community organizing

  • Framing the issue

  • Identifying key audiences and perspectives

  • Solution options and their requirements:

    • Technology-based​​

    • Lead by example

    • Regulatory options

  • Implementing solutions

  • Existing models

  • What has worked

  • What can be done to optimize the approach

  • Best practices

  • Engaging diverse audiences

Future noise topics will be announced

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